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How individuals who have moved from substance addiction to health, experience interactions with others in terms of facilitating or impeding their healing journey Palmer, Roma Susan

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the subjective experience of interactions with others that were either facilitative or impeding for individuals who have moved from substance addiction to health. A qualitative, phenomenological methodology was used for data collection and analysis. The study involved one in-depth, data collection interview with each of six volunteer participants. Interviewees included five men and one woman, varying in ages from 35 to 55. They all had extensive histories with substance abuse and were all connected to some extent with the Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous programs. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using Colaizzi's (1978) method of phenomenological data analysis as a guide. Seven themes common to all participants were extracted from the data. These included: a sense of isolation and loss, a sense of support or discouragement, a sense of understanding or misunderstanding, a sense of belonging or not belonging, a sense of meaning or meaninglessness, a sense of hope or hopelessness, and a sense of shifting identities. The findings led to implications for counselling as well as suggestions for future research.

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